Sunday, August 19, 2007

Book Review: Al Capone Does My Shirts; & General Update.

Al Capone Does My Shirts
by Gennifer Choldenko, c2004, 228 pages.

When Moose's dad gets a job as a security guard on Alcatraz, he brings his family -- including his autistic daughter with him. The kids are on the island (in the 1930's) with such villains as Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly. Even though there are strict rules on the rock, someone is determined to break them.

Another Newberry winner, another good book. Good enough that I'll use it for my upcoming school project I think (yes, one of my professors has given us assignments already. School starts on Sept 4.). The characters are compelling -- there are no filler people in this book. Everyone has a personality and the writing conveys that. The book deals well with having an autistic character. Descriptions were realistic, feelings of surrounding characters were portrayed well. At one point the author was heavy handed for a chapter or so, I was thinking, "Hey, I thought this book wasn't all about autism!" But pretty quick the story moves back from being an autism story to being a great story with an autistic character.

It's a quick read, recommended for grades 6+ by Scholastic's standards. The chapters are dated and told in first person, but it's not a diary. Somehow, that works well for the book. I'm a fan, so try it out!

General Update
The General is doing well. Oh, you wanted to hear about me and Jacob? haha, of course! We're doing well too. He took the GRE yesterday -- since it was a computerized exam Jacob got his verbal and quantitative (but not writing) scores back immediately. Suffice it to say that he got 800/800 points on the quantitative portion and was in the 97th percentile on the verbal. He basically rocks. He'll take the GRE Chemistry Subject Test in November-ish. He's gearing up to get into some good grad schools -- he sent his scores to (in order of preference) University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and MIT.

Yesterday I went and bought a pretty dress (thanks to mom for the gift card) and light fixture for the entryway, so that our door won't continue to smash into it. That's right, I'm becoming a jack-of-all-trades. Fashion mogul, electrician, student, wife, actress. Speaking of acting, we got some fun Decameron pictures: (click to enlarge)

Stacy curling my hair

Me, locked up in the "house"

Cast photo -- check out my sleeves!
So now that the play is over, and our summer vacations are over (camping with my fam was great by the way, love those crazy cats!) we're just enjoying the calm before the storm that will be Fall semester. Wish us luck with the upcoming craziness!


Hilary said...

Awesomeness. General awesomeness. I can't believe Jacob's scores- congrats!

March Hatter said...

Say, didn't you say you had a video of that play? Were we supposed to get to watch it some time?

I wanted to. . .